When cultures were intact and geographically distinct, human relationship was defined in terms of cohesive tradition, group identification, and shared language and custom. Now the world over, affiliations are becoming individualized, and as superficial as Twitter.
I feel there is. A bond without attachment flows from two or more people questioning together with the intent to ignite shared insight.
No matter how many times one may have seen something before, insight is always new. No matter how much knowledge one may have accumulated, the moment of insight is beyond knowledge, concepts and words.
To this point in human history, insight has largely been the source that illuminates scientific discovery or artistic expression. Sometimes quiet, sometimes shattering, the moment of insight always illuminates, if only for a moment.
Though partly apocryphal, the most famous insights in history have become part of human lore—the falling apple that gave Newton the insight into gravity; the clock tower in Switzerland that gave Einstein the insight into space-time.
What exactly is insight, and where does it come from? That may seem like a simple question, and it is, but the simplest questions are the most important, and profound.
Insight has the same source as creation, which didn’t just occur nearly 15 billion years ago with the Big Bang, but is going on every moment. Therefore insight is synonymous with creation.
Questions, rightly asked, inspire further questions. Persisting without pressing, and following the fitting and logical thread of a question leads to insight.
So I’m asking, can one have an insight into insight—its importance, its source and its historical place and potential in human life? I feel so.
Insights are direct and instantaneous flashes of perception in the moment, illuminations beyond knowledge, concepts, words, images and time. It is seeing something new, or something for the first time, even if one has seen it a hundred times before.
So in asking that question and giving this definition, is it an insight, or do I have an idea about insight? If I have an idea, no matter how accurate, it isn’t insight.
Why is that important? Because I’m proposing that insight can be the living foundation for right relationship between human beings in the global society. So it’s essential that one be clear as to what and when insight is, and what and when it is not.
We have to develop an ear for insight, much the same way we develop an ear for music. If you listen to a kind of music you’ve never heard before, something completely alien to your cultural background, for example African indigenous music, you have to hear it a number of times to begin to get it.
But once you do, your appreciation and discernment grows with each listening. Insight works the same way, though there is no pre-existing music one is listening to, except in a metaphorical sense. Once you begin to ‘hear’ insight, it can come from anyone and anything at any time. Acknowledging that fact is essential, so I’ll repeat it. Insight can come from anyone and anything at any time.
Insight requires both attentive listening, and inward space and stillness. When the mind falls completely quiet in attending to its entire movement without division, one goes beyond having particular insights, and enters a timeless state of insight. However long it lasts, the state of insight is of the highest, and is accompanied by tremendous joy, union and bliss.
So can the infinite wellspring of insight be the foundation for relationship in the chaotic global society? It can if two or more people, irrespective of background, share the same intent (to ignite insight together) and take the same approach (to question while holding opinions, beliefs, ideas, knowledge and experience in abeyance).
Following the thread of a question is a rare thing for humans to do. We automatically speak from what we know or think we know, or from what we’ve experienced. This has been our ground, our foundation, and to let go of it in relationship is very hard for most people to do, even with loved ones.
But as human beings we need a new foundation. The old one, based on shared traditions, belief systems and customs is gone.
The root meaning of the word foundation is ‘to pour.’ The paradox is that the truest and firmest foundation is poured every day by questioning and igniting insight anew within oneself, and with others.